The doctor who doesn't cure
Early this month, we spoke to my husband's oncologist on the phone. It was a video call because my husband did not have the energy to go to the hospital and it was a wrap-up call, but we still wanted to see each other's faces for that. This oncologist has guided my husband through the cancer process for 7 years. And this was the last conversation. He would now hand over the care to the GP. We went over again that we are relieved that the treatments, the X-rays, blood tests and scansresults and the pressure that comes with it anyway are now behind us. And that my husband can start focusing on repairing the damage the past four chemo treatments have done to his body. The doctor also sees that my husband is tired and that these treatments have really caused him more damage than benefit. So it is a good thing that we are quitting and that it is now done with these ordeals. One more review of the blood results, all organ functions looked good and although the cancer marker had risen slightly it was not significant. So in that sense, the chemo has not yet dealt the fatal blow and that's a good thing. During the previous course of treatment, it was apparent that his body was no longer pulling this off. He almost stayed away from it and went into a coma-like state but got through that too. But his body is clearly tired. Tired of the treatments. "It feels like a burden off my shoulders" my husband says to the doctor and the doctor says he can very well imagine that and with that it is only right that it is now also confirmed that this was the right decision and choice.
When we went through everything in which I mainly spoke on my husband's behalf as his spokesperson because he simply felt too weak for it and it took too much energy for him to talk, the doctor concluded by saying, "I have immense respect for the way you have endured this these seven years. How you dealt with it and what you showed. Also how you have done this together. This is really admirable and I really want to share that with you. I wish I could do more for you but there is nothing more I can do that will benefit you". I can see in his body posture the helplessness that comes with it. The fate of being a doctor it seems. I felt I wanted to share with him that he does not have to carry the burden of healing another person on his shoulders because only the one who is sick can do the healing himself. His face lit up. "How beautifully you say that, that is indeed true and I am glad you shared that with me". My husband and I thank him for his guidance and concern and say goodbye after seven years. "It's always a difficult moment..." he says. But it's all right.
The quality of life is not in the treatment. My husband has sacrificed so much physically, it is time to let nature take its course. Combining his mental strength with surrendering to what is to come and trusting that nature is the body and the body will find its own way If only you give it the time and space to discover that way.
I don't know anything for sure, I don't have a crystal ball, I can't see into the future and I may be afraid of it too, but my gut says this is right for him. We are going to see how it all develops, time will tell. We don't have the steering wheel in our hands. We just have to let ourselves be driven and watch. Our bodies move in space. When we dare to surrender to letting go of direction and trusting the body, only then will we experience what it is like to live in surrender. A life that is meant for you. Even if that would mean that life is shorter than you would like in your heart. This is what it is. We have nothing, but absolutely nothing to say about it.